Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Little Pony Pop Fluttershy Review

Many of you have probably seen one of the newest releases from Hasbro in the My Little Pony section, the My Little Pony Pops.  I'd been curious about this line since I heard about it from various Toy Fair 2014 reports.  I had something small to exchange at Target, so I decided to get one of the Fluttershy sets to review for the blog. :)

There are several different options in the Pop line, from individual ponies, to ponies with accessories (like the set we'll look at today), to sets of two ponies, to ponies with houses.  They range in price from around $6 to $20 each.  The set we'll look at today cost me $9.99 at Target.

Here is Fluttershy in the "Fluttershy Cottage Decorator Kit".  One of the larger house sets is Fluttershy's cottage, so I'm assuming this is meant to be purchased as an additional playset to help furnish the cottage.  The only thing is, I'm pretty sure the cottage comes with a Fluttershy as well, so I'm not really sure what you'd do with two Fluttershys. ;)

The back of the package.

One of the features of these ponies which should be fun for some girls is the fact that the ponies can be swapped around and mixed and matched to make new ponies, as demonstrated in the above picture.

A picture of everything included in the set.

Some basic instructions on the back.

A verbal list of all of the contents.

And a few extra package details:

The package opens very easily in the back.

Everything is nicely held in the clear plastic inside.

Here are all of the contents that come in this set.

There is a skinny brochure with more info about some of the other Pop sets.  I have to say, I totally understand the title of this line since you "pop" the ponies off of the plastic rods and "pop" them together.  However, I'm kind of surprised Hasbro got the rights to this name, considering the highly popular Funko Pop line.  

One side of the brochure.

The other side of the brochure.

A closer look at my set and the coordinating Pinkie Pie set.

Twilight Sparkle and Rarity both come in packs with princesses and accessories.

Here's a better look at Pinkie Pie's Sweet Shoppe.

Some of the individual ponies in the series:

Fluttershy comes with a sheet of stickers you can use to decorate her and her picture frames.

Fluttershy herself.

Here are her tail, mane, and wings.

She also comes with four plastic butterflies to pop out and play with...

...a birdcage and two birds...

...a little desk/cupboard...

...and four pop-out picture frames.

The birdcage has a door that opens...

...and the birds can sit on the perch inside or the perch on the steps.

Another look from the side. :)

Time to pop out some of the accessories!

I purposely let Middle Gal and Little Gal pop these out on their own (Oldest Gal was still at camp when we did the pics for this review), because I wanted to see how easy it would be for a child in the target age-range to get them out (the Pops are marked at ages four and up).  Both girls did okay, but it was not very easy.  I had to help Little Gal with some of her butterflies. :}  At one point, we thought we might break them trying to get them out!

Note:  After doing this post, my mom noticed that the package clearly states that "adult must remove parts from frame".  So Hasbro's intent was clearly not for children to easily be able to remove the ponies and accessories from their plastic rods.  Just thought I'd mention it. ;)

Time to free Fluttershy!  I did help a little more with Fluttershy herself because I was worried she would break. ;)

Here she is from the side.  Looks normal enough, right?  Until...

...you turn her to one side.  Creepy, right? ;)

The two pony halves are pretty easy to pop together.

I was a bit disappointed to see that the two halves didn't meet seamlessly, though.  This was as close as I could get it.

A few different views of bald Fluttershy:  ;)
I love how the highlights in her eyes are hearts. :)

Time to add her mane, tail and wings now:
I have to admit, the final product was a bit disappointing.  I get that they had to come up with a mane and tail design that would work with the removable, swappable aspect of these toys, but it's sad that this was the best they could come up with.  It really doesn't look much like Fluttershy.

The stickers look really cute in the picture frames. :)

I'm not one for having a bunch of stickers on my toys, but I decided to use her cutie mark sticker on the side that had no cutie mark.  It looks cute, but was impossible to stick flat, and even more impossible to keep on the pony.  We finally ended up throwing the sticker away because it kept falling off and getting messed up and gathering hair and lint (I'm sure I'm not the only mom with floors that have such things on them). ;)

Little Gal decided that the furniture was a desk and that Fluttershy could be looking out the window while she wrote a letter. :)

Middle Gal decided that Fluttershy would rather use it to hold one of her pictures.

Time for our overall thoughts and ratings!

Pleasing Qualities: 3 out of 5
   I think the My Little Pony Pops are a great idea, especially for little girls who enjoy changing and customizing their dolls and toys.  Fluttershy has a sweet face (especially those cute hearts in her eyes) and fun little accessories.  However, I think the design could use some improvement.  The pony and accessories were a bit difficult to remove from the plastic rods, even for me as an adult.  Some of them felt like they were going to break instead of coming out in one piece.  Fluttershy's face doesn't meet completely at the seam.  The mane and tail are cute, but as I mentioned before, Fluttershy doesn't look much like herself with the design they used.  This particular fact might not be a big deal to others, but it was for me.  I was also very disappointed in the quality of the stickers they included.  I understand that Hasbro probably wanted to keep them from being too hard to remove since the Pops are being advertised for their ability to be customized over and over again.  That being said, the stickers should be able to stay on for more than a few minutes.  I think a lot of younger kids will find them frustrating.  We also had a problem with her wings falling out when we moved them too much.  For these reasons, Fluttershy got a rather low score in the "Pleasing Qualities" category.
   My daughters had some issues with this Fluttershy too, but they still recommended her overall, as you'll read in their later reviews.  So even though Pop Fluttershy wasn't my favorite, others may really enjoy her.  I've always been into toys and dolls that capture their movie/TV characters accurately, and my girls have picked up on this themselves (as you'll see from their reviews).  So for us, the idea of a pony you can switch around and make into a new one isn't as big of a draw as it may be for other kids and collectors.  It all depends on what you're looking for. :)
   I still don't regret getting Fluttershy, because she looks cute with the rest of my Fluttershy collection. ;)  However, I don't personally plan on adding any more Pop Ponies to our collections.

Posability: N/A
   These ponies aren't marketed for posability, so I didn't rate them in this category.

Playability: 3.5 out of 5
   Again, a lower score in this category for many of the same reasons as in the first category (stickers, difficulty of removal, and falling out wings).  If you just want a cute pony with cute accessories and don't plan on using the stickers, I'd say this could be a 4 out of 5.  To avoid the wing issue, go for Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity or Zecora. ;)

Price: 5 out of 5
   The prices are pretty reasonable for all of the pieces and accessories you get.

Thoughts from the Gals:
   This time around, we'll only hear from Middle Gal and Little Gal.  Oldest Gal was at camp at the time of the photos and review, so she didn't get the full effect of popping Fluttershy out and all that. ;)  As always, my editorial comments are in parenthesis and italics.  All of the opinions expressed are the girls alone without any input from me.

Middle Gal (age 8):  I don't really like them because their faces from the front look like squares.  And Fluttershy looks totally unaccurate (sic).  Plus, they're really hard to get out of the plastic rods.  Her wings are in just such a way that I can't really see her cutie mark.  But otherwise I think they're really cute, like their faces from the side.  But it's kinda weird that her mane, tail, and wings have designs on them, and her ears and the tops of her legs have hearts on them.  But her wings pop off very easily (negative).  So I think that it would be like something that could be fun, but you wouldn't want to take them apart very much because you could lose the pieces.  If there was a set with just a pony and everything she needed like her hair and her wings and her horn, I would probably like it.  The birds are really cute, especially the purple one.  But the butterflies don't do anything.  I would recommend this for people who don't care about accuracy, but for those of us who do, these aren't exactly the best toy.

Little Gal (age 6):  I like how they can mix and match.  I don't really like the stickers because they make them (the ponies) look weird.  I like her desk and I like how she can get fresh air while she's writing.  And that's where she writes her letters to Princess Celestia.  And I like the pictures and the birds.  And I like the birdcage, but I don't know what the butterflies are for.  Neither does Mommy!  I wish they would make their hair accurate, but it's still cute.  And I LOOOOOOOOVE the face.  I like how their legs are "departed" (apart) and they aren't stickin' together like paper and glue.  I would recommend it.


Gods Girl said...

I have to say, I absolutely love hearing what your daughters think about the toys, it makes me so excited to have kids one day and share my toys with them. :3

Adelaide R. said...

Aw! It's so cute! I've loved my little pony so much since I was really little!

Amber Spaulding said...

Aww, I was really excited that you did a review of one of these sets. Then I read the review :(, this was a bit of a disappointment. I mean where is flutter shys long and beautiful mane and tail? One of the things thag I love about flutter is her mane and tail length. I wouldn't mind maybe getting one with rarity or rainbow dash, but to be honest they looked so more much fun and cute on tv. Thanks for the review :) it was nice to see someones opinion onthis new toy line.

Gracie said...

Kinda off subject but... Today I was at Walmart and went to go check out the My Life dolls. They've completely changed! They had different face molds! I was pretty disappointed because they don't have that cute look about them any more. From what I remember (not much) The had faces that looked like all the other 18" dolls in the world :(

Anonymous said...

You have MAG 55, right? I’m thinking of getting her, even though she doesn’t look like me. That makes it more fun! I am going to call her Hailey, but I just realized your #55’s name is Hayden, is Hailey too close to Hayden? I don’t want to upset you or anything!! :o
Let me tell you though, Hailey, if I get her, has a completely different personality than Hayden, like the complete opposite(like night and day). I’m thinking of getting her a blog. So, if I get her, and make her a blog(I’m getting either her, #29 or #41, it’s leaning more towards her. Hehe. Especially after seeing your photos! Wowie!), would that be too close to your doll’s name?

Sorry for the super long comment, and sorry if I trailed off or rambled. Heh, I’m like that.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much for the comments, everyone! :)

God's Girl, I've really enjoyed hearing what the girls have to say, too. It's been fun sharing the blogging responsibility with them. ;)

Me too, Adelaide. ;)

I have to agree, Amber. I would have loved to see Fluttershy's mane and tail the proper length. Maybe it would have been too difficult for the kiddos to remove them or something. :}

Glad you found the review helpful.

Gracie, I noticed that too! I've been meaning to do an "updatey" post about it! I'm still deciding how I feel about the faces. Some of them are still cute, but I do miss the previous face molds.

Hi, Anonymous! Feel free to use Hailey as a name for your doll. I don't mind. It's not like I own the name or anything. ;)

I don't have a #29, but #41 and #55 are among my very favorite dolls...I would recommend either! ;)

Have a great night! :)

Anonymous said...

I also like hearing your girls' thoughts on the ponies - always good to hear a kid's perspective! I haven't been tempted yet by the POP ponies, but I might get Zecora, just because she's hard to find in pony form. There is so much cute MLP stuff coming out right now. I just picked up the Rainbow Shimmer Princess Celestia pony - she is completely clear with glittery cutie marks inside her body like a snow globe. Kind of gimmicky but she was too pretty to pass up :)

Mark Patraw said...

While Fluttershy fell a little short in your eyes, I think these MLP Pop toys are an outstanding idea, and I particularly like that you can swap parts to make fun "Frankensteined" versions of the various MLP characters. I had no idea that these even existed until I read your blog post. I've got a couple of similar snap-together SD (super-deformed) Gundam (a popular Japanese anime/manga about giant robots and their pilots) model kit action figures. I could see these MLP Pop toys being a gateway product to get children, or even adult collectors, interested in assembling more complex model cars, planes, dinosaur skeletons, etc. kits. Actually, now that I think about it, it's probably more likely that Hasbro is going after Mattel's Monster High Create-A-Monster and MGA's Lalaoopsy Workshop demographic with these sets . . .

When it comes to removing plastic pieces from the "tree" sprues, it really is better to use a tool instead of your fingers, to prevent making stress marks in, or even bending/breaking, the more delicate pieces. I usually employ a pair of finger/toenail clippers. X-acto knives are another popular, albeit less safe, choice (which you might not want your daughters using, and I wouldn't blame you; I'm an experienced adult crafter and I still manage to slice my fingers open every now and then when I use one). If you end up with a little bit of sprue still attached to the parts, you can clip that off with nailclippers and then lightly sand it smooth with an emery board or fine grit sandpaper.

Model kits usually have water slide decals (the kind that you cut from a sheet, soak briefly in water, and then carefully slide off of the paper backing and onto the plastic), not the peel-and-stick variety, which probably would have looked, and stayed on, better. However, those are kind of delicate and finicky to apply (they're easy to tear), and permanent to boot, which probably wouldn't be the best choice for children, so I can see why Hasbro opted for traditional decals. My SD Gundam kits, that I just mentioned, also had stickers like this MLP set, and some of those didn't stay on that well either, especially on curved surfaces.

It's also pretty common for minor gapping at the seam between the two halves of a model (it's most likely a result of minor plastic warpage or shrinkage when the halves were produced from the mold at the factory). That said, you might try inspecting the interior of Fluttershy's body more closely, especially the pegs and their corresponding holes, as sometimes there's some flash (thin little slivers/flakes of extra plastic left over as artifacts from the molding process) that didn't get removed, which may be what's preventing the two parts from lying completely flush against one another (if that is the case, clip or sand the flash off and see if that results in a better fit).

I'd guess that the word "pop" is too broad/generic to copyright in-and-of itself. I may be wrong, but I think the "pop" in Funko Pop is actually a truncated version of "popular", similar to how it's used in the terms "pop art" and "pop culture".

I haven't bought too much MLP stuff lately, but my most recent secondhand acquisitions were a G3 Bumblesweet and a Ponyville motorized musical ferris wheel (the stand-alone version, not the nearly identical one that came with the much larger Sweet Sundae Amusement Park playset). If you don't already have one, that ferris wheel is great fun if you can find one in working condition.

And Anonymous thought that her comment was long. :P

beastsbelle said...

Sailingintheark, I think I've seen photos of that Celestia...she sounds really fun! :) I'm glad you've been enjoying hearing from the girls, too. :)

Lol, Mark, I think your comment wins for "longest comment". ;)

Thanks for all of the info. I've never done any sort of modeling, so it was nice to hear your perspective on things.

It will be interesting to see how this line does...I could see it appealing to a lot of people for the customizable aspect. :)

Herp Derpington said...

Awesome review! I, however, think you should say "kids" instead of "girls". Boys can like ponies and dolls too! ;)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Herp. Good point, too. ;) I tend to think in terms of girls because I have three daughters, so I'm used to using "girls", "she", and "her" in this house. ;) I know there are lots of boys out there who enjoy ponies, too. :)

beastsbelle said...

Fixed the pronouns...hope I didn't miss any. ;)